Thursday, May 31, 2007

Which other Twitters want to be my friend?

A thank you to Wilfred for being my friend ;-)
But seriously, I thought I would try the Twitter badge which shows my friends on Twitter. It really does work and certainly is a lot more interesting than just my own mucking about. The one thing I did notice was that it was a pain to find out just who is on Twitter. Of course I can start inviting everybody, but I just want to find those already on twitter...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Google map on my blog

With thanks to a posting by Pierre, I gave MyMaps a try. It is extreeeeemely simple. It took me about 10 minutes to build a map and to squeeze it onto this blog!
So here it is: a few places of work I am cycling between regularly...

Creative Commons finally on this blog

It took a while bit I have finally got round to reading the fine print and selecting the most suitable licensing for this blog. You will now find a small logo in the column on the right.

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

The background is that all the information on this blog can be shared and used as long as you correctly attribute this to the author. This is an open expression of the more inherent underlying idea regarding social software: it is valuable to share information, in sharing you can set up communities and networks in which everybody can profit. It is no longer the information itself which is important, but rather the skill in building up a network, assessing the value of information and reflecting on information.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Meeting of the Blackboard User Group

Last Friday we had a meeting of the Blackboard user group in Utrecht. To view the programme and the presentations visit:

Other's remarks can be found at:

It was a small gathering the day before the Whitsun long weekend, but never the less quite interesting. It was good to see that there are initiatives out there to get social software into the classroom. They do not necessarily have to be in Blackboard, as this can be a very closed environment as compared to the more open environment which is more suited to more open student of the next generation.

I was slightly disappointed to see Scholar in action, it was not a easy and intuitive as I had hoped, On the other hand, I have given the learning objects building block a try and that was really easy to use and showed results quickly. Shame about the price though...

The final message that did linger was Robert Jan's frogs: this may be an innovation which will require some slow warming up to. It certainly does not seem to be something all teachers are rushing to adopt.

Twitter badge

In case you are wondering what I am doing at every possible moment of the day, you can always watch my Twitter badge, now added in the column on the right....
PS: I don't promise I will keep it up all that regularly, I am just not techy enough for that sort of stuff ;-)
If anybody wants to sign up as my friend I can try out the badge with friends too :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Discussion on 'New Learning'

Yesterday Tumult Debat organised a debate on the latest debatable Dutch hype in Dutch education: the so-called 'Nieuwe Leren' which could be translated as the 'New Learning', which has been the subject of a lot of debate lately in the Dutch media.

Last Saturday the Volkskrant ran an article on the 'New Learning' and one thing which became quite apparent is that it encompasses a collection of different theories and principles.... Robert Jan Simons gave a clear description. This point came up regularly during the debate.

In the debate Paul Kirschner and Monique Boekaerts gave their views on a number of principles of instruction and learning design which where clear and not very debatable. The listeners however where often from schools and clearly had ideas rooted in practice. Some were clear advocates whereas others clearly preffered a traditional style of teaching. If there was one thing that could be learnt from the debate it is that:
  1. New learning is really New teaching
  2. Learning theory is not a direct instruction on how to teach
  3. There is not one clear instruction how you should teach a bunch of students as they differ (where have I heard that before).
  4. The underlying principles may be brilliant, but if you don't do it well (invest money) it will not work as well as promised.
Perhaps the most charming view was the historic view offered by Maarten van Rossem in his closing speech. The interest in new learning can be viewed from the trend in society towards individualisation since the end 19th century. This has sprouted a number of learning theories which started back in the early 1900s with the Montessori tradition. 'Nieuwe Leren' as a principle in which students are given more responsibility for their own learning is just another of these learning theories.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blackboard Usergroup meeting in Utrecht

On friday the 25th of May we (Studion Support) will be hosting the next meeting of the Dutch Blackboard Usergroup. This meeting will be directed at 'Blackboard and Web2.0' or better still: 'Blackboard and Education2.0'. After a broad introduction in the Net-gen student and what Web2.0 is, we will be looking at various possibilities of using Web2.0 tools in conjunction with Blackboard.

Of course we will be looking at the first tool in the Blackboard Beyond Initiative (Scholar) but will also be looking at other tools (blogs especially) which other institutions in the Netherlands have been experimenting with.

For more information (including the programme and information on how to register) please visit:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Rights on recordings

I just found a webpage with some interesting answer to FAQs regarding rights for the recording of lecturers and the use of other fragments in your own recordings. It is a page in Dutch maintained by Surf DiReCt.